Urgent Call (1) for the Release of Human Rights Defender Muharrem Erbey
Urgent Call for Action against the Detention of Human Rights Association’s (İHD) Vice General Chairperson and Chairperson of Diyarbakır Province Branch Lawyer Muharrem Erbey
24 December 2009
Today, in the morning of 24 December 2009, police teams launched an operation in 11 provinces with the order of Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecution Office and raided on Peace and Democracy Party’s (BDPPeace and Democracy Party ) and Human Rights Association’s (İHD) Diyarbakır Province Branches. More than eighty people, including İHD’s Vice General Chairperson and Chairperson of Diyarbakır Province Branch, Lawyer Muharrem Erbey, were detained. In the raid on the IHD’s Diyarbakır Province Branch office, police teams did not allow the workers to get out of the office and confiscated all computers and the documents. The documents that are confiscated were the result of twenty-one years of hard work and have an important role in illuminating several murders by unknown assailants, forced disappearances and torture cases.
Since 1986 the Human Rights Association has played a vital role in the promotion of human rights and democracy in Turkey. At the same time it is one of the founders of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey and an internationally recognised human rights NGO. The operation against İHD’s and detention of Vice General Chairperson of it is an unacceptable event.
The important role human rights defenders play has been recognised in various international documents such as the OSCE Document of the Moscow Meeting (1991), the Vienna Declaration (1993) or the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders (1998). These documents contain provisions protecting human rights defenders who face many risks because of their work for the protection, development and promotion of human rights. Promoting respect for democracy and human rights is only possible when human rights defenders can carry out their work in a safe environment without obstructions.
The Human Rights Foundation of Turkey is calling upon the public to take urgent action to defend human rights defenders.
Human Rights Foundation of Turkey
Contact Details of the Prime Minister and Relevant Ministers:
Recep Tayyip ERDOĞAN Prime Minister
Tel: + 90 (312) 415 40 00
Fax: + 90 (312) 417 04 76
Address: Başbakanlık Merkez Bina
Beşir ATALAY Minister of the Interior
Tel: + 90 (312) 425 40 80
Faks: + 90 (312) 418 17 95
Address: T.C. İçişleri Bakanlığı, Bakanlıklar / ANKARA
Sadullah ERGİN Minister of Justice
Tel: + 90 (312) 417 77 70
Fax: + 90 (312) 419 33 70
Address: T.C. Adalet Bakanlığı 06659 Kızılay / ANKARA